Dancing About Architecture

Grab the End of the Poll

Yep, this is my last chance to hammer home to ya that this is your last chance to vote in the 1997/98 Austin Chronicle Music Poll. Find it on p.15 of this issue or check our website at http://www.auschron.com/feedback/musicpoll98/ to help your favorite musicians (and deejays, poster artists, and music writers) get the recognition they so deserve (and unnaturally crave). With your help, they may get to hear their names called from the podium of the Austin Music Awards, which like last year, kicks off South by Southwest at the Austin Music Hall. Just confirmed for that bill, to go along with names Asleep at the Wheel and the Derailers, are the Damnations and Kacy Crowley.

SXSW: Members Only or Family Affair?

The header here might make a good title for a panel discussion at the music conference this year, given some of the acts that are turning up on the showcase lists. On the family side, Loudon Wainwright's son Rufus Wainwright is now on the schedule (along with Loudon himself), as is Pete Townshend's brother Simon Townshend. On the members' team, you have bands like Hai Karate (members of Gas Huffer) and Altamont (including Melvins member Dale Crover), along with what I believe is the debut of El Diablo, courtesy of drummer Taz, formerly of Tenderloin and Rev. Horton Heat's band. Speaking of the demonic, Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin label will be making a big appearance (as will the man himself) with a showcase at Emo's called "The Devil Came Down To Austin," featuring a host of Kozik's stable, including Speed Buggy, Turbo Negro, Acid King, Kyuss off-shoot Queens of the Stone Age, and Honky. Oh, and did I mention that the Fuckemos' new release on Man's Ruin is now out on CD - that and a limited edition 10-inch vinyl offering. Finally, I can't let you off the SXSW subject without a reminder that this Sunday, 2-6pm at the Electric Lounge, is your last chance to attend a volunteer call for the music, film, or interactive conferences. If you have further questions, call 467-7979.

Gourd To Go?

Usually, a hold-up on an album release is not a good thing. Hence, when informed that the Gourds' release date has been pushed back indefinitely and that an in-store scheduled for tonight has been scotched, I wondered what the problem was. Munich Records' Myles Faulkner was hesitant to say much, but made one thing clear: The delay is a good thing. As it turns out, Munich and Watermelon Records have been working on an 11th-hour deal that would allow that latter local indie to license Stadium Blitzer. That, of course, would add the Gourds to the roster of Austin artists distributed through WEA thanks to the deal between Sire Records and Watermelon. It doesn't mean, however - contrary to what some have been saying behind the scenes - that the Gourds have signed to Sire. Eric Zappa at Watermelon says that the licensing deal "could go either way at this point" but that a final decision would probably be made by the end of
the week. Since the band is playing SXSW,
one assumes the disc will be out by then in one form or another.

Derail Your TV

The Derailers spent a day with MTV this week, shooting a pilot show for the network. The band acted as hosts and featured artists for the program, which represents MTV'S interest in the world of alternative country and is entitled Cringe (no one I spoke to could figure out for sure what the hell that name is supposed to mean, but I'm betting it's an attempted abbreviation of "Country Fringe"). Derailer Tony Villanueva, phoning from the Big Apple, says the band performed "Come Back," "California Angel," and, of course, their version of "Raspberry Beret" for the program, as well as (at the suggestion of Sire Records) a cooking segment (!). The show is not scheduled for airing yet (and it may never be), but Villanueva says the band has plenty else on its mind, like the increasing numbers of fans in their audiences. "It's been like night and day since the new record's been out," he said before heading over to the Sire offices to screen "Just One More Time," the band's newly completed video. "The audiences have been doubling and tripling rather than just increasing by 20 here and 50 there." Hey, just wait 'til you get your TV show on the air...

"A Paper Glass Door"?

Recently, I received a review of Jon Dee Graham's Escape From Monster Island that ran in the Italian equivalent of Rolling Stone. Well, actually, I was sent was an English translation that a friend of the band attempted. As precious as the whole piece is, I've only enough space to bring you the highlights, but it 'bout broke my heart to have to excise the paragraph containing the word "crepuscular."

"Jon Dee Graham is not new to the record chronicles. In the years eighty have stayed the guitarist of the True Believers of Alejandro Escovedo participating to the short but meaningful adventure of the group. Like Escovedo, Jon Dee Graham have been built a reality of made songwriter of ballads, of sounds rock, and poetry of the road, working more on the voice than his sounds. The voice of Graham is in fact hoarse, hot, low, and suffering, a paper glass door on which he comes reported a history loser of that which doesn't do news if not for will fill the furrows of a disk of second level. Jon Dee Graham build an album in which he is easy find shelter, gather the feeling, crouch and defend sound from the individuals from the ignoble big that the big average and the big productions trumpet each day. Handicrafts, the ballads of Jon Dee Graham arrive from the outskirts of the empire, but without the suit of fashion and without shout, giving another bit of American dream."

Mixed Notes

Nickel $ Dime Records proprietor Paul Minor reports that the company has received shipment of Superego's new album, My Bad, just in time for the big Egomania '98 CD release party at Liberty Lunch this Friday. The gig also features Orange Mothers, Diaz Bros, Earthpig & Fire, and Deep Sombreros, all being taped for a future special on the Austin Music Network. The CD will be free with admission to the show. Of course, the show is $5, as opposed to Superego's usual Free For All appearances, but that's a Minor quibble...

Accusing Shawn Colvin of not playing in Austin enough is a good way to get hate mail, so I wanted to point out that while she will be performing a song with Ernie on the Sesame Street TV special (ABC, Feb. 20) and video Elmopalooza!, she is conspicuously absent from the bill of the touring Elmo's Coloring Book, which comes to the Erwin Center on February 12. Instead, Coloring Book offers "a curious little polar bear named Blanch." Hmmph! Maybe you consider that an acceptable substitute, Ms. Colvin, but this journalist does not!... Advance copies of Ani DiFranco's Little Plastic Castle, a new studio album on her Righteous Babe label that was recorded at Congress House, are out. The title track and "Deep Dish" showcase Jon Blondell's trombone playing, with the latter song also featuring a spooky spoken-word segment by Mark Hallman: "Before long there will be short. Before short there is nothing. When there was nothing there was always the possibility of something - becoming what it is." Crazy. Wonder what that reads like in Italian?...

Indie labels may be struggling, but it's "Boom Time for Indie Stores," according to the latest Rolling Stone (South Park cover). The article on mom and pop record shops includes a phone survey of three chain stores and Waterloo Records to see who carries the most "classic" albums. Waterloo won easily, having all but one of the discs on RS' list...

Prescott Curlywolf will do a bit more shopping around before they decide whether to put out the tentatively titled Superbad Ninja Fighter themselves. Consisting of 20 songs in about 45 minutes, the album was recorded live to two-track in November of 1996. The band has the rights back from Mercury Records to reissue the two albums that appeared (briefly) on that label, but Prescott's Ron Byrd says that getting copies of this "juggernaut" out by SXSW is the group's priority...

Blondie's weekly Saturday 7pm free in-store shows are never as well-attended as they deserve to be. This week, get out and see the Commies, Del Bombers, and Belligerent 86...

Planning to be in San Antonio tonight (Thursday)? Pop by the Cibolo Creek Country Club and be part of the audience as Rosie Flores records a second evening of performances for her upcoming Rounder Records live album...

Is it a surprise that the winner of Seattle's Jimi Hendrix International Guitar Competition came from Austin? Technically, Tolo Marton is from Italy, but he spends a good amount of time in Austin, and made his way to the top of the Hendrix heap via the semifinals at La Zona Rosa...

This week's pun that most folks won't get is the local Trains Indicate Records, who'll be releasing a red vinyl 7-inch by Demonstraitor on Monday. For those of you who didn't get it, the label is not associated with King Coffey's Trance Syndicate label. Speaking of which, Trance's The American Analog Set made an appearance on National Public Radio recently...

3 Balls of Fire fans can look for a compilation of new and old material from the band on Rumplestiltskin Records, due this month...

The SIMS foundation is having a benefit this Saturday, 3pm, at Borders Books, featuring Alejandro Escovedo and Storyville...

Ursa Major have just shot a clip for their song "Finger" with videomeisters the Administration. "I'm sure I'll never have that much fun shooting a video again," says singer Pam Peltz...

Jesus Christ Superfly have lost their eighth drummer (I think they just do this 'cuz they figure I'm committed to keeping track by now) as Rob Oswald has moved back to Baltimore. Drummer #2, Cade Callaghan, is returning for the nonce. Meanwhile, Rick Carney's other band, Gravy Boat, has changed its name to Boomland in honor of the world's largest fireworks stand...

Wondering when that next Wannabes album is gonna come out? So is the band. Guitarist Kevin Carney (no relation) says, "Now that we've recorded it, the idea of doing something with it just isn't very interesting." Yep, that's the busy 'bes we've come to know and love. Well, after SXSW and the subsequent departure of bassist Hunter Darby for Baltimore (do you sense a pattern here?), the band will have more time to think about getting a record deal, as they'll only be performing locally when Darby comes to visit two or three times a year. Will absence make the heart grow fonder and make the less frequent shows "must-see" affairs? "With our luck, the opposite will happen," says Carney. "Our small audience will dwindle to nothing"...

- Contributors: Michael Bertin, Raoul Hernandez, Andy Langer, Margaret Moser

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More Dancing About Architecture
Dancing About Architecture
Dancing About Architecture
The last installment of "Dancing About Architecture."

Ken Lieck, Jan. 3, 2003

So Long, Slug
So Long, Slug

Ken Lieck, Dec. 20, 2002

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